Former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg is arguing that Republicans "will kick away their opportunity to accomplish anything of significant value" if they shut down the government over President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.
"The chances of the Republican Congress governing effectively next year could be all but over by Christmas of this year if their performance over the last two weeks, or their preview of coming attractions for the coming week and next year’s sessions, are true indicators," wrote Gregg in The Hill.
The former chairman of the Senate Budget Committee added that "rarely in the annals of democratic government has a time of so much opportunity been so promptly and effectively eviscerated by those to whom the opportunity was presented."
With government funding set to expire at midnight Thursday, Republicans have been preparing to introduce a $1.1 trillion spending measure to keep most government agencies running through September 2015.
The massive spending measure includes 11 appropriations bills funding agencies through the fiscal year, and a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the Department of Homeland Security for only a few months, reports Politico.
But conservative members are opposing the efforts of the House leadership because they want to use the funding debate as leverage to undermine Obama's executive action on immigration.
"The path forward is clear: Pass only a short-term bill that funds the government, but does not allow funding for the implementation and enforcement of this executive amnesty," write Ed Meese, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Mike Needham, executive officer of Heritage Action for America, assert in a Dec. 7 editorial.
Gregg argues that funding agencies with purview over immigration is not the issue.
"The president knows this, and that is why he has set up this sleight of hand using immigration," he says, adding that Democrats want "nothing more than to have the American people see that the Republican Congress, even before it convenes, cannot govern."
Conservatives in the Senate believe the House must take a firmer hand in opposing what they see as Obama's unconstitutional actions.
"What we do know is that [the funding bill] will allow the president to move funding around and fund his executive amnesty program," Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions told Fox News on Sunday.
Story continues below video.
Sessions said he was hoping the House would "put real language in this bill" that would prevent funding for the program, as Congress did when they wanted to block the administration from closing the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has taken an even harder line, saying, "Congress should stand up and use the power of the purse to say: we will fund the government, we will fund the operation of the federal government, but we will not allocate taxpayer dollars to lawless and illegal amnesty," The Blaze reported last week.
Cruz, who played a key role in the last government shutdown over Obamacare, is facing a tougher road this time around as many GOP senators are strongly opposed to repeating the same scenario.
"I’m going to make sure the government is open and functioning," Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming told The Wall Street Journal.
Votes on the so-called CRomnibus measure are expected to be held this week.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.